FEAR and SURPRISE

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: FEAR and SURPRISE

Post by SimL »

Oh, there's another term I remember: "tioh8-chuah4".

As far as I can see, it's pretty much identical in meaning to my "tioh-chEN-kiaN", i.e. "to get a fright", "be startled". I see very little distinction at all. Douglas gives a "chhoah" with the following meaning (but no character): "to tremble; to have spasms; to flash, as lightning", which I suppose is the syllable I have in might.

I'm not totally sure any more, but I thïnk "wa bo chuah lu" was a very informal / street-talk way of saying "wa bo kiaN lu" (= "I'm not afraid of you").

amhoanna
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: FEAR and SURPRISE

Post by amhoanna »

Choa' in TW also means SHAKING WITH FEAR.

Choa' te' tán = WAITING, AND SHAKING WITH FEAR TOWARD THE OUTCOME.

Interesting that Mãkáu has been used to mean all Cantos, and also has whoring connotations. I'm under the impression that, at one point, the whores of Singapore were mostly Canto. There were also lots of Canto whores in West America in Portland, Frisco, etc., sometimes referred to as 老舉, 百人妻, etc.

niuc
Posts: 734
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: FEAR and SURPRISE

Post by niuc »

SimL wrote: I'm not really familiar with "tioh-kiaN". Does anyone say "phah4-kiaN1" (= literally "strike-scared")? As in: "i chia tioh long liau, i sua(h) phah-kiaN khi, tong-kim m-kaN sai chia liau" = ("after he had that car accident, he became scared / got frightened, and nowadays doesn't dare drive any more").

I'm not sure of this usage, but it seems vaguely familiar...
Sim, I have never heard phah-kiaⁿ as per your usage. But there is phah-chiⁿ-kiaⁿ, as transitive verb e.g. hit-ciah-ciáu hō·-i-phah-chiⁿ-kiaⁿ, suà-pe· khì·_ ä (the bird was scared by him, therefore it flied away).
SimL wrote: So, I queried him on it. He explained that there was a minority of Cantonese speakers in Penang in his youth. The majority Hokkien speakers (or, at any rate, the people of his own background) treated them with contempt (part of it being that they didn't speak Hokkien).
Although in Bagan we didn't have special terms (as far as I can remember) for non-Hokkien Chinese, there was always a form of stereotyping for other groups, actually also for different types of Hokkiens and even for different area of the town.
He (retrospectively) felt very negative and ashamed about this "racism" on the part of his own community, and refused to repeat the account on tape. And - unfortunately - all my arguments about the importance of "accurately recording historical circumstances", even negative ones (with it perhaps even having the positive effect of "learning from history"), were to no avail. He steadfastly continued to refuse. So, there is no recorded evidence of this (to me) interesting historical socio-linguistic fact, other than that I say that I heard my relative say it.
Thanks for sharing. Racial/tribal discrimination is bad, but as we all have known [and might even experience], historically it was very common.
amhoanna wrote:Choa' in TW also means SHAKING WITH FEAR.

Choa' te' tán = WAITING, AND SHAKING WITH FEAR TOWARD THE OUTCOME.
My usage is similar to this.

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